It’s a Canning Party!
Growing up one of the best times of year is when my mother and grandmother would get ready to can. A flurry of activity in the kitchen, the sweet smells, trying to sneak bites of whatever deliciousness was being prepared to can, and ultimately getting shooed out of the kitchen so they didn’t have us kids underfoot. Those jams, salsas, veggies and fruits carried us through the harshness of Minnesota winters until it was time to start the cycle over again.
I like to fancy myself as a proficient canner, but I’m nowhere near the quantities and variety of items that my mom and grandmother canned. My garden is substantially smaller, my life (according to me) seems substantially busier, and I don’t need 60 jars of salsa, no matter how good it is. Introducing…Canning Parties!
Canning parties have a similar concept as Christmas Cookie parties. It allows you to create and share a much wider variety of food and creates an opportunity to bond with friends and family over pectin and canning salt. In the end, you have a wonderful variety of canned goodies and, hopefully, have made some wonderful memories.
Canning takes some space, so the best way to start your Canning Party planning is to determine whose kitchen you’ll be in. Be sure you have enough space for everyone to move around as well as counter or table space. (You can bring in folding tables as well for added workspace.)_Once you know the space you can determine the number of guests to invite.
Who to invite?
Canning parties are often the most enjoyable when you have a nice mix of guests, experienced and new canners, family and friends, people you know and new friends to meet. The variety of experiences and people will help to keep the party conversation going strong.
Who has the recipes?
Canning parties work best when you set up workstations with 2-3 people per station. Since there won’t be time to do everyone’s recipes, you can either choose the recipes yourself or ask your guests to submit their recipes in advance and chose a few to create. (IMPORTANT – be sure you know what recipes you are doing in advance so that you have a solid list of supplies and foods you’ll need to make the party a success.)
Who has the supplies?
Canning parties often work best when each guest has a supply list of what they should bring. You can either chat with your guests in advance to see what they have to bring or supply them with a few items they are expected to bring. Some basic supplies include:
• Canner (Water bath or pressure)
• Canning jars, canning lids, and canning bands
• Jar lifter
• Food mill or strainer (Not necessary, but helpful!)
• Wide mouth funnel
• Variety of knives and choppers
• Jar labels and markers
Who has the food?
Just like with the supplies, chat with your guests in advance. What is growing in their garden? In addition to the food you’ll be canning, you’ll need to be sure you have all the other supplies that you’ll need to make your party a success, such as salts, kinds of vinegar, sugars, pectin, etc. (Often time the host will provide the basic supplies and supplementary foods needed to can.)
Set the mood
Remember this is a party! Simple things you can do to create an inviting atmosphere for your guests are:
• Clean up and prep the night before – avoid the rush of party day and have the room prepped the night before.
• Think about lighting – make sure each station has proper lighting
• Think about temperature – working in the kitchen can get hot! If you have a few small fans,zhave them available.
• Turn on the tunes – soft background music is a great way to set the mood for your party
Enjoy this great time in the kitchen with your friends and family. When the canning is done, make sure everyone has a variety of the canned items to bring home, and then start planning the next Canning Party!
Whether you’re planning a canning party, or it’s your first time canning, Mimbach Fleet Supply has a wide variety of canning supplies in stock. From mason jars to pressure cookers, pickle salt to peelers, Mimbach Fleet has all your canning needs!